Fatal car accidents have been on the decline in recent decades, much to the thanks of safety features like airbags. However, a massive airbag recall was announced yesterday, and it is quite possible that your vehicle may be involved.
The recall is over concerns that some Takata-brand airbags have a defect that can cause shrapnel to fire at drivers or passengers, potentially causing death or serious injury.
When people are involved in car accidents, they should be able to depend on their airbags to protect them from injuries, not cause injuries. This is an extremely serious threat that has already led to six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.
As CNN reported, the recall of 34 million cars represents about one out of seven cars on the roads in the United States, with Honda vehicles being most likely to have been recalled for the airbag problem. The airbag recall involves 11 automakers in total at this point.
Here are three steps to take to ensure that you and your family are safe:
1. Find out of your vehicle is involved. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a website dedicated to the Takata recall where you can enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if your vehicle is involved in the recall.
Keep in mind that your vehicle could be added to the recall list days or weeks down the road, so be sire to check back.
2. If you find out that your vehicle has been recalled, contact a dealership in your area that sells your vehicle model in order to get it replaced. It doesn’t have to be the dealership where your car was purchased. The airbags will be replaced for free.
3. If you cannot get the airbags replaced for several months, try to keep shorter people out of the driver’s seat. Officials have determined that the problem appears to be most dangerous for people with shorter arms who are closer to the airbags. If you have a passenger seat airbag that has been recalled, try to have passengers ride in the backseat, officials advise.
Do not have your airbag disabled as only a small percentage of the recalled airbags are likely to cause this problem, officials say, so you are still safer with the airbag than without.